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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 02-28-2006, 01:38 PM   #1
pwc101
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Old versions of linux distros - is it a good idea to use them on old machines?


Hello everyone :)

I am something of a newbie, although I'm loving the learning curve :) I've got an old laptop (Acer travelmate 507t: intel celeron 500 mhz, 64 mb ram, 2 gig hard drive, floppy, usb and cdrom) and I'm trying to install linux on it. I've had a look at several threads on here about which distro to go with, and i've had a go with DSL, which is very snazzy, but i'd like something a little more wholesome if you see what I mean. I've also had a look on linux-on-laptops and seen what other people have installed on very similar machines. People seem to be having success with SuSe and Gentoo. Slackware also seems to be fairly popular.

My question is essentially this, do older versions of linux distros run faster on older machines? For example, I think that slackware is currently up 10.2, but I can still download all the versions from 2.x onwards (i think). Would I be better off getting an older version so that it would run more smoothly, or are there more appropriate different distros?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated :)

Pierre
 
Old 02-28-2006, 01:45 PM   #2
uteck
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I would not use an old distro for the following reasons.
First off the newer ones will have better hardware support. Second, old ones will have software that has security or other flaws that may not be easily fixed. Third, newer distros will have better install and maintaince tools that a new user will want.
 
Old 02-28-2006, 02:42 PM   #3
pwc101
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Thanks uteck :)

So therefore, since I'm after something which won't be too slow on my laptop, is it best to install one of the lightweight distros rather than a fully-fledged distro with some things not installed, or some lighter versions instead? I'm thinking that the thing which is likely to slow the computer quite significantly is the gui. Obviously a command-line based system is the fastest, but I don't feel sufficiently confident to just use the terminal, and also, I'd like to use this machine for browsing, latex etc, so it'd be nice if I had a gui.

From what I remember of my fedora installation, I know that I could install a light gui (xfce, for example), and presumably this would increase the performance. Is this a wise approach? Is this option available in other distros (I've only installed fedora so far...)?

Thanks again,

Pierre
 
Old 02-28-2006, 03:09 PM   #4
lestoil
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On my P233 64mb ram and 10GHD setup SW10.2 with test26.s kernel xfce desktop worked great.Adding 128 memory stick really made sytem zippy. With smaller HD you must pick just the programs you must have to include /swap and leave room for growth. You could do SW10.2 menu install or expert install for more control over what is installed. Xandros3(with some problems), and Libranet3 all installed successfully on my hd. You always have option of adding external HD for expansion or sharing files from other os.
But for example my scsi controller worked in debian potatoe and woody but sarge net-installer rc1 or 2 had trouble using my scsi cdrom so I needed cdrom driver floppy for sarge to complete install. So each hd config may have a gotcha. Yours hopefully wont.
 
Old 02-28-2006, 04:54 PM   #5
pwc101
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I'm just downloading Slackware 10.2 at the moment, and I'll try that with the minimum I can get away with installing. Hopefully I'll still have a reasonable amount of space left afterwards.

Thanks for the comments folks, I'll post again if (when?) I run across something I don't know how to do!

Pierre
 
  


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